Meeting business challenges with new digital technology


When it comes to digital transformation initiatives, have you ever wondered what the major agribusiness companies are doing? Eric Campagna, Food Machinery and CPG Health Manager for Augury, is here to help answer that question. Join us to discuss what works – and doesn’t work – for top food and beverage processors, and the importance of taking risks, especially when it comes to digital transformation.

We discuss which digital transformation initiatives could have the most impact, as well as how manufacturers can meet their current business challenges with new technologies. We end by talking about machine health and how it can increase the competitive edge of food and beverage manufacturers.


Food preparation: When it comes to digital transformation initiatives, how about the most successful agribusinesses doing better than the rest?

Eric Campagna: Being able to speak with innovative organizations, even across industries, allows you to see what works and what doesn’t. To answer the question of what the most successful agribusinesses are doing, I’ll start with what’s not working. Technology is a big one. Companies are constantly evaluating and watching the market, but technology is ultimately a tool, isn’t it? It’s like trying to buy hammers, but not knowing what kind of house you’re building.

The most successful start by defining the problem to be solved. For example, what is the impact of fixing this problem? How does this step change the organization? How does this transform and change the way they do business? This gives them a compass point telling them where they are going. Then they work backwards to determine the best technology to explore and what will help them get there the fastest. Two organizations that come to mind that do this well are Colgate-Palmolive and PepsiCo.

PF: Can you explain the importance of taking risks, especially when it comes to digital transformation?

THIS : Risk management is as much an art as it is a science. One of the biggest traps companies fall into is the infamous analysis paralysis: they constantly watch the market to evaluate technologies and look for the perfect solution to solve each problem. All that time spent doing nothing can cost them millions a month. In the end, it’s easy to forget with all the technology on display, that you’re dealing with people, and there will be bumps in the road. So it’s more important to choose a direction, to accept that there will be risks, but to find a partner who is there and ready to face the challenges together. And don’t be afraid to start.

PF: What are the most impactful use cases to start with when deploying digital transformation initiatives?

THIS : The term “highest impact” should be defined. Going back to the first question, defining the problem to be solved, “What is going to have the most impact?” We find that it is specific to each company. Every business has its own challenges. In the current climate, particularly in food and beverages, the common theme we see is that they are sold out, which means there is more demand than production can meet. If this is your challenge, focus on increasing capacity with existing assets. Most successful digital initiatives are mapped to revenue.

PF: Can you tell us more about how manufacturers can meet their current business challenges with new digital technologies?

THIS : Anyone who has watched the news lately will notice two common themes: labor challenges and supply chain issues. You have a lot of news around the “big quit”, you have strikes and you have shortages in the supply chain.

Augury is a global leader in machine health solutions. Machine health enables manufacturers to reduce downtime, increase production capacity, optimize the cost of asset maintenance and accelerate their digital transformation.

Augury’s machine health solutions combine advanced sensors with powerful artificial intelligence capabilities and collaboration tools to help teams understand when machines are at risk. The company also provides its expertise so that customers know what to do to prevent breakdowns, long before these risks threaten production or productivity. Learn more by visiting the Augur website

Manufacturers are looking for ways to solve this problem using technology. A survey conducted by Food Processing and Augury asked executives what their biggest priority was. We found that 69% of them reported an increase in capacity and production. And 60% of them called it labor efficiency. These two areas are both priorities.

A huge benefit of digital tools is that they really help supply chains run more efficiently. This ultimately ties into the increased capacity, which as we mentioned is one of the main concerns. Technology is also a force multiplier, and always has been, as it enables companies to do more with fewer resources as they face ever-increasing constraints in the marketplace. The last element to mention as well, and I think it is often forgotten, concerns people. When organizations have the best technologies, they often attract and retain the best talent. And it’s a way to combat the major concerns facing businesses in the marketplace today.

PF: Can we talk about Machine Health? What is that?

THIS : Machine Health transforms reliability, maintenance, operations, and asset management using technologies like AI and IoT to prevent machine failures. It also unifies machine data into a single source of truth that manufacturers use to drive their supply chains.

PF: How does Machine Health increase a food and beverage manufacturer’s competitive advantage?

THIS : Before we can talk about competitive advantage, I think it’s important to understand what currently puts companies in the food and beverage industry at a disadvantage. And right now, times are unique. There is more demand than supply. Any food and beverage manufacturer that cannot produce enough product is losing significant revenue because demand outstrips what it can make. And by not increasing capacity, they are missing out on capital and funding that can fuel growth initiatives, such as expanding into emerging markets, adding new SKUs, and possibly adding production lines.

Machine Health enables organizations to have more efficient production lines, less disruption, and ultimately more capacity from existing assets. And that, again, has to do with being able to supply more products and get them to the shelves. Consumers buy their favorite brands of soda or toothpaste and if they are not on the shelf, and the competitor is, they may switch to other brands. Now multiply this effect over thousands of instances, and it can move the markets. Machine Health can help ensure that organizations can get their products to shelves and ultimately to consumers.


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